#7 UNLV Rebels: College Basketball 111 in 111

unlv dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s third annual college basketball season preview series.  Two years we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  Last year, we were slightly more aggressive and expanded to 111 teams in 111 days and will do so again as we look ahead to the 2012-2013 season.

We will rank the 75 power conference teams and top 36 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, transfers, incoming freshmen, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

The UNLV Rebels experienced a scare in their lone exhibition game, needing overtime to get past Dixie State.  Dave Rice’s team opens their season tonight against Northern Arizona and have the talent to make a ton of noise on the national scene.

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UPDATED 2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25

ucla hoops

Here is an updated on my preseason Top 25 for the 2012-2013 college basketball.  With transfers, the decisions of some previously undeclared top high school recruits, and players declaring their intentions to return to school or leave for the NBA Draft, there has been a lot of movement since I released my original rankings the day after the National Championship game.  (Click here for a list of NBA Draft early entries.) Leave a comment below if you think a team is too high, too low, not getting enough respect, or if you notice an error in a projected roster.  (Click here for my way too early preseason rankings from last season.)

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UPDATED 2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25 (PART 2)

ucla hoops

Here are teams 16-25 in my updated 2012-2013 preseason college basketball Top 25 and other teams who just missed the cut.

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2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25

uk national champs

With the Kentucky Wildcats cutting down the nets last night, we can officially close the book on the 2011-2012 college basketball season.  Hoop junkies like myself are already looking ahead to next season so allow me to present to you my way too early 2012-2013 preseason Top 25.

There are still several factors that could alter a teams roster between now and the start of next season.  Some of the top players are still debating on whether or not to enter the NBA Draft, some teams will lose players to transfer, and five McDonald’s All-Americans remain undecided on their college decision including the top two recruits in the 2012 class; Shabazz Muhammad and Nerlens Noel.

So here is my preliminary preseason Top 25.  I will updated these rankings once the NBA Draft early entries list is complete and Muhammaed and Noels make their college decision.  Leave a comment below if you think a team is too high, too low, not getting enough respect, or if you notice an error in a projected roster.  (Click here for my way too early preseason rankings from last season.)

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2012-2013 college basketball preseason top 25 (PART 2)

uk national champs

Here are teams 16-25 in my 2012-2013 preseason college basketball Top 25 and other teams who just missed the cut.

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College Basketball: The Week Ahead (12/20/11)

Missouri cheerleaders

College Hoops 101 has undergone a facelift.  My weekly breakdown of the past week in college basketball and look ahead will now be split into two parts.  (Click here for a look at the past week.)  This week’s edition of the “The Week Ahead” looks at the best games of the up-coming week including a preview of the annual Braggin’ Rights game between Missouri and Illinois, and why Xavier will be upset in the opening round of the Diamond Head Classic.

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UNLV Running Rebs Nationally Relevant Again?

unlv

Last March two college basketball documentaries premiered to remind us college basketball nuts how the game was changed in the early ’90s. Both focused on powerhouse programs that fell from grace since then, but today seem to be trending backward.

The ESPN film focusing on the Michigan Wolverines Fab 5 may have gotten all the hype and controversy, but the HBO doc on the UNLV Runnin’ Rebels was actually a much better/more informational film.

Today’s Rebels are led by a link to that glorious past in first year head coach Dave Rice, a member of the 1990 National Title team.

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Illini Really Having Trouble Winning at the United Center

united_center

This used to be the Illini playground. It used to be their second home.

Overall, Illinois is 32-11 all-time at the United Center, but that statistic seems disconnected from reality on a day like today when the Illini offense was so ugly it was an insult to college basketball.

With the 64-48 loss to unranked UNLV, the #19 Illini dropped their third straight game at the UC, and fifth of the last six on Madison St.

The Chicago Bulls ‘ home used to be like a homecourt for Illinois, but not these days: the Madhouse on Madison has become maddening for those who were orange.

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College Basketball: The Week Ahead (12/6/11)

john calipari tom crean

As part of our College Hoops 101 facelift, this feature will now include looking ahead to the top games in the upcoming week.  You can check out the highlights of last week in the world of college basketball by clicking here.  A pair of interesting non-conference rivalries are renewed this week when Xavier meets Cincinnati and Kentucky visits Indiana in a battle of unbeaten teams.

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Duke Blue Devils, 903 and Mike Krzyzewski: Class Acts

Duke NCAA Champions

In 1990, I was a grade-school student who loved sports, and had many teams. However, when it came to college basketball, I was at a loss.

I grew up in Chicago. I love Notre Dame football, but beyond David Rivers and LaPhonso Ells, ND basketball left a lot to be desired. In the mid-80’s I loved Dallas Comegys and Rod Strickland, but after their respective departures, DePaul hoops became lost in a vacuum.

So, when Georgia Tech, Arkansas, Duke and UNLV met in the 1990 Final Four, I was a fan without a team. Sure, I rooted for ND and DePaul, and have since, but everyone enjoys cheering for a winning team.

The ’90 Final Four was held in Denver, CO, the boyhood home of my father. And my dad had managed to land tickets to the final round of the tourney.

As my dad and I entered McNichol arena that Saturday night, I was disappointed. I had chosen to root for UConn because my best friend had recently moved to Chicago from Connecticut. But Christian Laettner ended Tate George’s and all other UConn’s fans’ hopes with his first Elite 8 buzzer beater.

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#25 UNLV Rebels: College Basketball 111 in 111

unlv dance team

Welcome to The Sports Bank’s second annual college basketball season preview series.  Last year we looked at 99 teams in 99 days.  This year, we are being slightly more aggressive and expanding to 111 teams in 111 days.  We will rank the 74 power conference teams and top 37 mid-majors in reverse power ranking order.  We’ll break down rosters, non-conference schedules, and pick a player to watch for each team.

First year head coach Dave Rice inherits a veteran UNLV team that should compete for the Mountain West Championship this season.  With seven of their nine rotation players back from a year ago, the Rebels have plenty of experience on their roster.  Add in the return of an injured player and a pair of transfers and the depth of this team will be their strength.

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99 in 99: #44 UNLV Rebels

UNLV cheerleaders

UNLV was supposed to return their top eight scorers from last season and be a Top 25 caliber team this season.  However, off-the-court issues and a season-ending injury have slightly cooled off the hype surrounding the Rebels this season.  Still, they should be bound for the NCAA Tournament for a second straight year.

The Sports Bank’s “99 in 99” ranks the 72 power conference college basketball teams and top 27 mid-majors.  Our countdown will lead right up to the start of the season and provide you will all the in-depth information about the top teams in the game.  Click here if you missed #45-#99.

By: David Kay
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